All Star Lanes

5200 W. Dempster St. (Skokie)

9 Responses to “All Star Lanes”

  1. joe action Says:

    Bowled in a dounbles league there with Bob Lindberg, Freddy Kaplan, Syd (and Barry Blumenthal), Randy Holmgren, Steve Levine and Art Amberg. Had the coffee shop in the front…the East of Edens….with Fast Eddie as the cook (the slowest cook in the west) and Shirley as the waitress (I wonder if she still at Cappy’s on Dempster). Met Ron Levine there….not a bad player, but I wiil say he wasn’t scared to make a bet….threw the ball straight….but would dominate over Shelly Skidelsky (sp?) and Ron Weisberg. Beat em for large!

    Eventually, the action (and the league) moved north to that house on the west side of the Edens x-way around Lake-Cook Road which is no longer there.

    Lots of pool action in the All Star pool room, too. Joe Gold was the toughest there. I heard some other top players also hung around, but never saw any big action matches there.

    The counterman was nicknamed, “Pear”. We tortured him mercilessly. Loretta ran that doubles tournament that was there for many years. Just the nicest lady around. Always liked those martinis.

    The furniture store that hung on there after All Star closed has finally thrown in the towel and is gone. The house has been demolished and has been replaced with…..get ready….another strip mall. Another part of history…gone…good times and good people there…gonna miss that one.

  2. Stew Cohen Says:

    My father, Sid Cohen, worked at All Star Lanes during the 1960s. I was a boy then, and I’d come visit and he’d let me bowl…but I wasn’t very good and bowled lots of gutter balls. Still, it was fun to come by and watch him test the lanes by bowling a ball or two before the place got busy. He kept the lanes in great shape in those days. That was the most enjoyable job my dad had in all the years he worked while my sister and I grew up. I too miss All Star Lanes because so many of the places we knew as kids have disappeared to make way for strip malls or fast food.

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      All-Star was our home house in the North End Traveling League for two years in the mid-1970s. What I remember best was the time I rolled an even-600 set on games of 248-152-200. I don’t know what that says about lane conditions, or my ability to adjust.

      • Dave Williams Says:

        I have many fond memories of All Star Lanes while working as National Promotion Specialist for AMF. I had my own office (!) on the low side of the house, around lanes 7&8, if I remember correctly, and I would travel to all of the AMF centers in the midwest from that location.

        I lived in Niles at a place called the Golf Mil Motor Inn (paid by the month because I never knew when AMF was going to move me… one year I moved 7 times!). But I loved it. I was married to bowling and to AMF.

        I do remember averaging 230 (or high 220’s) around 1980 (wow – 35 years ago – time flies!). In spite of all my travels I was still able to get in about 30 games. The shot for me was off the edge, which was always my favorite angle. Russ German (?) was the lane man. Kenny (BIG man that also worked at the bowling center by Wrigley Field – Waveland Bowl, as I recall) was at the control counter most nights. Manager was Joan L’Hommedieu at the time. And the restaurant was Korean (!) in a Jewish neighborhood.

        Used to love my weekly visit to the Chicago Bowler and talk with Joe Kissel about anything involving bowling; and drop off the bowling scores from our Chicagoland centers and discuss advertising placements.

        Also had a couple of cherished visits with Remo Picchietti and Sam Weinstein. Two fabulous people. Whenever I would bowl a big score or get a promotion with AMF, I would get letters of congratulations from both of them. I need to do that now that I am a part of the senior set… Mr. Weinstein would always say that “the next time you’re in Chicago we must have lunch.” I never did pay for any of those lunches at his favorite delicatessen, even though I tried!

        One final memory: AMF arranged for me to bowl 3 matches at our 3 local centers in Chicago, against some top notch women bowlers. I was to bowl Mary Strong-Bosco at Strike n’ Spare Lanes in Northbrook, Patty Ann at Forest Lanes in Lyons, and Karen Ellingsworth. I was touted as a PBA member and referred to as “Mr. 300,” a name I received while bowling 300’s all around California in my early years. The result? I lost all 3 matches! (and my scores weren’t that bad).

        Dave (“Mr. 300”) Williams

      • J.R. Schmidt Says:

        Thanks for all the memories of some fine people!

  3. Bowling Enthusiast Says:

    Hi! Thanks for this blog. Do you by any chance know the years All Star Lanes opened and closed?

    • J.R. Schmidt Says:

      I’d guess All-Star was in business from around 1960 until the late 1980s, but I don’t know for sure. Anybody out there have a definite answer?

  4. Howard Says:

    I used to bowl there in the late 1950s. Was just writing about the time that I was there at about 16 years old in 1958 when I got paged to take a call at the front desk. It was my mom telling me that my dad’s one-man jewlery store in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood was held up at gunpoint and I should get there asap to drive dad home to our new home in Skokie.
    A memory that one never forgets!

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